Bangladesh Awami League: The Pioneer of possibilities-Raju Alim


Today’s Bangladesh Awami League was first organized at Rose Garden which is situated at KM Das lane in Old Dhaka City in 1949. The main focused success of this political party is the formation of a new country after the Liberation War in 1971. After passing two eras, they achieved a new country for the Nation. Bangladesh gets an identity, place, name and a new FLAG in the World Map for the Great Leader, the Father of Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

 At first Bangladesh Awami League was acquainted as ‘East Pakistan Awami Muslim League. Their main manifesto was to free Bengali from the Pakistani rulers’ suppression. At that time they were very much

progressive minded. Mowlana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani was the President; Shamsul Hoque- the Secretary and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was selected as the join secretary of the party. In this time Sheikh Mujib was in custody. ‘We didn’t get any places and at last our council was held at Humayun Shaheb’s Rose Garden’- Bangabandhu wrote same as in his book- ‘Ashamapto Attojiboni’ (Incomplete Biography). In this council there was present Sher-E-Bangla A K Fazlul Hoque and many great leaders. They formed a new political party and named ‘East Pakistan Awami Muslim League’. We could find a right history of political Bangladesh in Bangabandhu’s ‘Ashamapto Attojiboni’. Bangabandhu was always in favor of secularism. He always inspired people in secularism and being inspired he cut Muslim from their party’s name. The party was being named as Awami Pakistan League in 1950’s council and the party is being named ‘Bangladesh Awami League’ after our Liberation War.

 If we go back for a flash back, we will see that in 1952 Sheikh MujuburRahman was an acting Secretary of the party. After this, in 1953 he got selected as the secretary in the council held in Mukul Hall. From this time, he holds the post successfully till 1966. This period was the most charming period of Awami League. Mowlana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani differs with the party’s opinion and he quits himself from East Pakistan Awami League. In 1957 he forms another political party namely- NAP. The National Awami Party (NAP) was the major progressive political party in East and West Pakistan. It was founded in 1957 in Dhaka, erstwhile East Pakistan, by Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Yar Mohammad Khan, through the merger of various leftist and progressive political groups in Pakistan. Commonly known as the NAP, it was a major opposition party to Pakistani military regimes for much of the late 1950s and mid 1960s. In 1967 the party split into two factions, one in East Pakistan and another in West Pakistan.


The United Front was a coalition of political parties in East Pakistan which contested the 1954 East Bengal legislative elections. The coalition consisted of the Awami Muslim League, the Krishak Praja Party, the Ganatantri Dal (Democratic Party) and Nizam-e-Islam. The coalition was led by three major Bengali populist leaders- A K Fazlul Huq, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Maulana Bhashani. The election resulted in a crushing defeat for the Muslim League, with United Front parties securing a landslide victory and gaining 223 seats in the 309-member assembly. The Awami League emerged as the majority party, with 143 seats. However, within months of assuming power, the newly elected government was dismissed by Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad, upon of accusations against A K Fazlul Huq of attempting secession. The dismissal of the United Front was a key turning point in aggravating East Pakistan’s grievances in the Pakistani union, and lead Maulana Bhashani to openly call for separation and independence in 1957, in his Salaam, Pakistan (Farewell, Pakistan) speech.

After this separation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman fights against the Pakistani Government and create a positive position among the Bangladeshi (East Pakistan) people. The party under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh, would lead the struggle for independence, first through massive populist and civil disobedience movements, such as the Six Point Movement and 1971 Non-Cooperation Movement, and then during the Bangladesh Liberation War. After the emergence of independent Bangladesh, the Awami League would win the first general elections in 1973 but was overthrown in 1975 after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The party was forced by subsequent military regimes into political sidelines and many of its senior leaders and activists were executed and jailed. After the restoration of democracy in 1990, the Awami League emerged as one of the principal players of Bangladeshi politics.



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